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Arsenal 0-3 Man City : Wenger Left in Cold as City Stroll to Victory

For the second time in a week, Arsenal were left humiliated by a Manchester City side, falling once more to a 3-0 loss, this one in many ways worse than the first.Anything can happen in a cup final, but to allow the same thing to happen at your home ground in the league just a few days later is unacceptable, and the fans know this.Now, losing to Manchester City – potentially the best team in Europe at the moment – isn’t necessarily anything to be ashamed of… it’s the way the losses have been brought on. The ineptitude, and the unwillingness to chase after a deficit have been disheartening for Gunners faithful. The crowd was as sparse as ever it has been. The weather, of course, will have had something to do with this, but as many more people will have been put off by the idea of watching another heartless performance against a better side – and as it turns out, those that stayed at home were as well off there.Unbelievably, with two-thirds of the game left to play, Wenger’s side found themselves the same margin behind as they did at the end of the cup final. Both of the Silva’s - first Bernardo and then David - followed by the undoubted man of the match Leroy Sane pushing in a third past the returning Petr Cech’s goal.Sane was immense, especially in the opening half of the game, making very short work of Arsenal’s defense and assisting the first two goals before getting in on the act for himself. Not so immense were the home side, although they actually started the game in a snowy North London quite well. Aaron Ramsey, hoping to make up for a lackadaisical showing at Wembley, was prominent, making his presence known both in midfield and further up the pitch. In a move reminiscent of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s early chance in the cup final, Ramsey cut the ball across the box invitingly, hitting Vincent Kompany and forcing Ederson to get down quickly and make a smart save. Shortly after, Henrikh Mkhitaryan (returning to the team after missing the cup final through being cup-tied) had a decent effort stopped by Ederson.But, once City got into their groove and started playing some wonderful passing football, it did not take long for Arsenal’s confidence to disintegrate.It was the aforementioned Sane that set up the first goal with an excellent run that seen him slalom by three Arsenal players before off-loading the ball to Bernardo Silva, who was allowed onto his preferred left foot by Sead Kolasinac, and curled a tidy finish into the far corner. 1-nil, and as it would turn out, game over.Now with their foot well and truly on the gas, City began making mincemeat of Arsenal all across the pitch, but mainly in the final third, especially through deftly worked counter attacks that split open the four-man defense – the choice of less midfield cover to introduce more attacking players (Danny Welbeck alongside Aubameyang) was a risk that didn’t pay off at all.Arsenal were open at the back and City were playing with excellent cohesion and clinicality – it was a recipe for disaster.The second goal again came from the architect Sane, who dropped his shoulder to leave Shkrodan Mustafi for dead, before squaring to Sergio Aguero, who gently played the ball into the path of David Silva, who was never going to make a mistake, and fired high inside Cech’s near post.As if the mood wasn’t already bad enough in the Emirates, City added there third, and surprisingly final goal soon afterwards.Aguero once more spun clear of any Arsenal interruption before threading the ball precisely through to Kevin De Bruyne, who in turn did the same for Kyle Walker, who then passed the ball across the box to the man who had tormented Arsenal in the first half hour, Sane, who made no mistake easily and calmly finding the net for a third goal. It really did seem like the floodgates had opened following this goal, and it could have easily been 4 before half time through Aguero, but it thankfully for Wenger’s sake wasn’t to be the case.Arsenal had a chance to pull one back in the second half when Nicholas Otamendi pulled down Mkhitaryan in the City area, but Aubameyang failed to capitalize with the penalty; Ederson saving well. The game petered out, City often threatening – Cech did well to stop Aguero with 10 minutes to play – but the game was over. At full time, the Arsenal support that had turned up for the game were practically all gone.This result represents a record breaker, in a negative sense. This was the first time Arsenal conceded three goals in the first half of a home league game since March 1989 against Nottingham Forest, making it the first time in the Premier League era. It was the joint heaviest Premier League home defeat, having also lost by three-goal margins to Coventry (1993), Middlesbrough (2001) and Chelsea (twice in 2009).This loss also makes for the damning reading that as of this point in 2018, no Premier League team has lost more matches than Arsenal on 7 losses across all competitions (out of 13 matches). Amazingly, and perhaps giving an indication as to what relations between the players and managers is like at the moment, even with the game playing out the way it was, Wenger chose to make no substitutions.Now, I think it’s fair to assume that changes would not have made a major difference in this encounter - but it's hard to envision them hurting things either, considering how bad things were going from the first goal onwards. The end of this game represented a particularly low league ebb for Arsenal, and one fears it is a bad way to be approaching the next vital game on Sunday at the Falmer Stadium away to Brighton and Hove Albion. Arsenal one the first tie against the Gulls 2-0 in front of a packed Emirates Stadium at the beginning of October. The mood has changed immensely since then, and the second fixture against 12th place Brighton – just off the back of a 4-1 win against in-form Swansea City – could be one of the most important games in Arsenal’s season.In concluding upon the City game, it is clear that the opposition side are truly very good, and they have, over the past week, made Arsenal’s shortcomings all too apparent. Change is needed, and there is a sense that if things don’t improve soon, it will be coming shortly.